The world continues to mourn the loss of fashion designer Kate Spade, who committed suicide Tuesday at age 55.
This morning, “Extra” spoke to her former publicist, Rob Shuter, who said Kate “cared deeply about dignity, decency, kindness” but that “deep down, behind the perfect facade, there was a real sadness about Kate.”
He elaborated, “Kate was upset by the way the fashion community treated her. They never really gave her much respect… the public loved her, but the critics didn’t, and it always hurt her.”
Over the past few years, Spade “disappeared” from the New York social scene. Rob explained, “The friends and people like myself had not seen her for several years. After she sold the company, she made so much money, Kate could retreat... Kate really removed herself from society, from New York, from the fashion world, and she really just focused, I think, on being a mom.”
“Kate disappeared from New York society. She got invited to everything — the Met Ball, every fabulous event Kate was invited to — and she declined them all,” Shuter revealed. “Kate was really isolated and lonely. Toward the end of her life, she had a housekeeper, she had her assistant, and her child, and I think that was pretty much it. Kate didn’t have many friends.”
Kate had been married to husband Andy Spade since 1994, but they “had a very difficult relationship,” according to Rob. He reflected, “She really didn’t talk about him very much. They didn’t spend a lot of time together. I would see Andy out and about in New York without Kate… It’s really mysterious about what that relationship is… I don’t think it ever technically fell apart, but I think they were living apart.”
As for her final days, Shuter pointed out, “Behind the scenes, it was loneliness. It was probably drinking too much, it was longing for a world that didn’t exist anymore… She found modern technology difficult, she found Twitter annoying, she found Facebook rude. This was someone that really valued her private life and I don’t think Kate could live in the cruel world that we live in today.”